I have been looking forward to participating in this book study! Unfortunately, my book has yet to ship. Therefore I am really appreciative of the wonderful summarizations written up by so many bloggers. Math stations are an area that I really need to work on improving. Things have gotten a little better each year...with a long way to go to measure up. This year was actually the first year (of my three) that I actually tried having math stations. The organizational mess of manipulatives and the management mess of games and having students doing different activities scared me off for a while. As it turns out, management of math stations is easier than trying to manage students all doing the same activity at the same time and vying for your help. I've learned that much the hard way! I did three 15 minute rotations this year. I would meet with one group and give the other students the choice of a math game, practicing with manipulatives (sorting, counting, creating, etc.), or paper practice. My goal was to mimic the Daily 4 math idea. My biggest problem seemed to stem from not providing enough example and teaching of the procedures before setting them loose...can you say chaos? My knee-jerk reaction to chaos is to limit choices and implement controls. This is not how I want my class to operate though. Soooo...better pre-planning, modeling, and organization is in store for next year. I think I really did have too much to choose from to start. Next year things will go out slower and in smaller batches. I can't wait to dig my teeth into the Math Stations book for ideas! Thank you all so much for organizing this and sharing your own ideas! What a blessing!
Here are a few pics of how I am currently storing my math tubs. I started out with the Target-style open bin shelf (dowels and sides). This drove me nuts because my kinders couldn't put the boxes back on the dowels easily. So, the bins moved to a bookshelf this year. I love the idea posted about labeling the shelf and the bin identically to make it a breeze to put away exactly where it was found. That was an "oh, duh!" moment for me. Right now I spend way too much time fixing it after they leave every day. :o(
The materials I am not using are shoved into the cabinets at the back of my room...disaster.
And my teacher masters/games/recording sheets are generally a work in progress...ones I've saved are in a file cabinet that is hard to get into or on the shelves above my counter (eek!).
The rest are on the computer. Nothing is at my fingertips. So, I feel like I have been chasing my tail all year. No wonder math wears me out! So my biggest summer plans include revamping this area of my teaching. I'm definitely excited for this book study! If you see the UPS man...tell him I'm waiting for that book!